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Toffee

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup slivered or flaked almonds
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces

(I used to use 1 1/4 cups sugar but found the toffee was almost
floating in the butter, even after boiling, so I added the extra
3/4 cup sugar and now it's perfect and relatively grease free every
time.)

Combine the butter and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Cook and
stir over high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium;
cook, stirring constantly, until candy thermometer reaches 280
degrees (soft crack stage).

Tip: When a tsp of this mixture is dropped in very cold water, it
should develop a thread like texture that is hard but not brittle.
It also should be a golden brown colour. If it is too dark it's an
indication the candy theremometer is not correct, so if it starts
turning dark, take it off the stove, pronto.

When it reaches the 280, remove from the stove and add 1/2 cup of
almond slivers or flakes. Stir quickly. Pour into well buttered
(don't use shortening here) cookie sheets. When it has cooled a
little but is still warm, sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate pieces over
top and as they melt, spread them with a spatula to cover the
crunchy toffee part. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of almonds.
Cool and serve.

Idea: I used to do the cookie sheet thing, but now I butter tiny
tart molds (mine are like muffin tins only there are about 20 cups
and they're about an inch across) and, working quickly, spoon the
hot mixture (with nuts added) by tablespoons into the "cups". Then
I proceed with the chocolate and nut step as above. Oh, I use
Bernard Callebaut chocolate cut up into small pieces to coat the
toffee. It never lasts very long around this house and there are
only 2 of us. My husband makes me promise each year to make a
batch just for him, and the other batches I can give away as gifts.
He has the same rule for my truffles and other chocolates.

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